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Department

Planning

The Planning Division is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Services and provides staffing for the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, the Site Plan Review Committee, the Conservation Commission, the Licensing Board, the Historical Commission and the Historic District Commission. As such, it assists these boards and commissions in administering their responsibilities under local, state and federal law with respect to zoning and subdivision control, site plan review, maintenance of the city’s Master Plan and Open Space and Recreation Plan, issuance of various business licenses, the Wetlands Protection Act, and historic preservation.

The general mission of the Planning Division is to provide technical advice regarding, and to assist in the implementation of, policies and programs focusing on our city’s economic development and quality of life, including but not limited to, policies and programs involving appropriate land use and land use planning and protection and enhancement of our city’s natural/environmental and man-made/historical assets.

More specifically, the Planning Division’s Mission is to serve the public, its elected public officials, and the appointed boards/commissions that we support/staff in an efficient, courteous, and professional manner; to advise the Administration on matters of policy and procedure within the purview of the boards and commissions we staff and support; to cooperate with other departments and divisions to jointly advocate for and advance the policies and programs mandated by the Administration; to provide technical advice to the Administration and to other departments and divisions; to identify policy proposals, programs, projects and opportunities that may be beneficial to the economic development of the city and the quality of life of its residents and to bring these to the attention of the Administration; to undertake research and development of projects as directed by the Administration; and to strive to enhance the quality of our contribution to the city’s progress by seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities for continuing education and training to increase our knowledge of laws, rules, regulations and procedures relevant to the work of the Zoning Board or Appeals, Planning Board, Site Plan Review Committee, Conservation, Commission, Historical Commission and Historic District Commission.